The first meeting for the newly-created SkillsFuture Council took place today to begin developing an integrated systems of education, training and career progression for Singaporeans.
The council is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and was formally announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earlier this year as a means to promote industry support for Singaporean workers to advance in their careers based on skills, and a fostered culture of continuous learning.
"Our future must be about mastery of skills, in every job, and enabling every Singaporean to develop themselves to the fullest," said Tharman. "We are going to put full effort into this, and it involves everyone - Government, employers, unions and all of us as individuals."
The council has so far decided on four thrusts to drive this national effort:
1. Help individuals to make well-informed choices in education, training and careers
The council will guide the development of a full system to help individuals make choices in education, training and their careers, starting from educational counselling in schools and extending throughout a person’s working life.
It will foster collaboration between the Government, industry, and institutions, to provide individuals with exposure to a wide range of occupations and industries from young, and ongoing information on the changing needs of the labour market.
2. Develop an integrated, high-quality system of education and trainingthat responds to constantly evolving industry needs
It will review education and training to ensure that a sound and broad-based education for the young is complemented with a full menu of the continuous learning options, including opportunities to develop new specialisations. A panel of leaders from educational and training institutions will be appointed to support the council in this effort.
3. Promote employer recognition and career development based on skills and mastery
The council will work with employers to design and implement a framework to enable individuals to advance by climbing skill ladders. Panels led by employers, and supported by unions and government agencies, will be appointed in each sector to develop this framework.
4. Foster a culture that supports and celebrates lifelong learning
This will involve a long-term effort to respect every job for its skills, and value the achievements of individuals who attain mastery in their own fields. It will also promote the habit of learning throughout life, for work as well as for interest.
The SkillsFuture Council will be supported by the community-led Lifelong Learning Council, which will promote practical ways to advance this culture.
Members of the SkillsFuture Council include representatives from the government, industry, unions and employers, and educational and training institutions. They have been appointed for a term of two years.
The Council will take forward the key recommendations under both the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) and the Continuing Education and Training Masterplan (CET) 2020.
"It will be a major, long term effort involving collaboration with all stakeholders, including employers, training providers, unions and individuals," a press release stated.